So I made it out to sunny California without showing any symptoms of swine flu. Whew!!! So far, so good. The details of long travel days are usually a blur to me, but this was a notable one because I turned on the news before leaving to find that the Senate had gained a new Democrat - Arlen Specter, a five term Republican senator from Pennsylvania! Way to go with the converts, fellow Democrats!
Truthfully, I haven't heard the details of the switch, so I don't know if it was a result of some deep soul-searching, political pragmatism, or Joe Biden winning a best-of-three arm wrestling bet. Whatever it is, yippee!! I believe that brings the magic number to sixty!!
While I do my little happy dance with my three year old niece, both of us for entirely different reasons, I am momentarily stopped in my tracks because I don't recall hearing that Senator Al Franken has been sworn in. In fact, this is still in the courts in Minnesota. Oh no. Come on, Norm. Give it up. Al's the man. Senator Al. Come on, I sat by when Gopher was in Congress. Granted, there was snickering involved, but still. And Sonny Bono. Enough, Norm. Let the man do the job he was elected to do.
And then there was President Obama's press conference about his first hundred days in office. Missed it altogether, so here's my own recap off the top of my head:
We've reversed the ban on stem cell research, passed a stimulus package that has done things like extend unemployment benefits for many hurting people, reversed the previous administration's environmental policy, improved our world image, and outlawed torture.
My summation? Good job, Mr. President! Nicely done! I'm thinking that in your next hundred days we could cure cancer, legalize gay marriage, and put an end to world hunger. What do you say? I'm feeling optimistic. Maybe it's being in California and all.
I say we take our cue from the President and reach for the stars. Let's go for something that we don't know for sure we can accomplish but is worthy of our best efforts. Let's dare to see ourselves as capable of being better than our current circumstances. Let's stop listening to the people who are too scared to try or too cynical to think things can be different. We can do it. And the time is now.
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